Zoho Challenges Microsoft Office Web
Zoho, with an assist from VMware, intends to challenge Microsoft Office Web — the hosted version of Office 2010 that will also run on-premise. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.
First, a little background: When Office 2010 ships, Microsoft intends to offer a SaaS (software as a service) version called Office Web. It will feature “lightweight Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.” Plus, Office 2010 customers will be able to host Office Web on their own, Microsoft has indicated.
In stark contrast, Google doesn’t seem to have any plans to allow customers to host Google Apps on their own. But the folks at Zoho — another SaaS productivity application provider — seem poised to challenge Microsoft’s on-premise browser-based application strategy.
At VMworld in San Francisco, Zoho announced a relationship with VMware “designed to give customers a streamlined approach to running Zoho applications in their own data centers, leveraging the industry-leading VMware platform, which has been adopted by thousands of customers.”
The VAR Guy must concede: He doesn’t know when the Zoho-VMware solution will ship nor does he know pricing. But Zoho is demonstrating the offering at VMworld — so it appears to be more than vaporware.
Already, Zoho allows service providers in Asia to host Zoho applications. And until now, customers that wanted to host Zoho on their own required specialized on-premise rack systems. The Zoho-VMware combo allegedly eliminates the expensive, customized rack requirements.